From the column editor:
During the past 15 years, the role of growth factors – both in skin disease (e.g., wound healing and psoriasis) and in the development of skin care products – has continued to evolve at lightening speed. Factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor beta (TFG-beta), keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) play critical intrinsic roles in maintaining healthy and young-looking skin. Biotechnology has provided recombinant bacteria that can produce large quantities of these purified factors for formulating into products for skin care and hair care. In standalone and multiregimen skin care product lines, the continuing consumer desire for anti-aging products suggests an important role for growth factors, including mineral actives. This month, Dr. Loren Pickart of Skin Biology Inc. discusses the unique role for copper peptides as a key growth (i.e., “tissue remodeling”) factor in future products for skin care and hair care.
Reversing the effects of aging on human skin was a primary goal of ancient alchemists and their successors, the modern cosmetic chemists. During human aging, skin becomes thinner and accumulates various blemishes, lesions and imperfections. The structural proteins are progressively damaged causing collagen and elastin to lose their resiliency. The skin’s water-holding proteins and sugars start to diminish, the dermis and epidermis become thin, the capillary network becomes disorganized, and the subcutaneous fat cells diminish in number. These effects are further intensified by decades of exposure to ultraviolet rays, irritants, allergens and various environmental toxins. The result is dry, wrinkled, inelastic skin populated by unsightly lesions.